Shape Up – Dr. Brandon J. Hochman, DC
What do you say to those of us who feel stiffness or pain and are afraid to start an exercise routine because of potential injuries? Exercise is extremely important not only for the musculoskeletal system, but has major benefits for all the systems of the body. The problem we’ve found is that so many people follow the mantra of “no pain, no gain” that their exercise routines become more hazardous to the body. At our offices, our patients receive a combination of the latest in physical rehabilitation and transitional training—a bridge to more advanced workouts. We help determine the safe zone and ranges of motion for our patients to exercise in safely and still make positive gains.
Tell our readers about some of your specializations, such as Muscle Activation Techniques. Muscle Activation Techniques was founded by a brilliant man named Greg Roskopf. The principle behind it is that the communication from the brain to the muscles can become inhibited over time due to stress, trauma or overuse. As the muscles reduce the amount of work they can do, other muscles responsible for similar movements become overworked, causing inflammation, pain and dysfunction. The technique is designed to activate those inhibited muscles to work more efficiently and allow for the taxed muscles to work less strenuously, reducing pain and creating a more stable a smoother movement. This past year, I have implemented AFNI (American Functional Neurology Institute) protocols into the office. With the help of these principles we have been able to get some incredible results, especially for patients with chronic knee issues. We’ve seen patients with pain for 20 years, relying on pills and injections, contemplating surgery, improve their function drastically. Not everyone is a candidate for our treatment, but those that are have been very happy.
It seems back pain is one of the most common ailments people have, of all ages. Is most of it able to be addressed without having to be on meds constantly or worse, undergo surgery? I think so, of course. Back pain is very common, but the frequency and levels of pain people experience can certainly be mitigated with proper spinal maintenance. Once a patient achieves optimal results from treatment for an acute issue, we recommend visiting us once every 4-6 weeks for a tune-up. We find that if patients follow our maintenance protocols they rarely have back flare-ups, and if they do it’s infinitely more manageable. Medications should be used to reduce pain during the acute stages, while therapy returns the body to proper functioning. Surgery should obviously always be the last resort if all else fails.
What’s the healthy motto you live by personally? The body needs balance. Eat healthy, but it’s ok to indulge once in a while. Exercise is important, but listen to your body; it may need rest. Work hard, achieve your goals, but make time for enjoyment.